30 October 2011

Victoria Cross: J. P. Carne


Lieutenant-Colonel, The Gloucestershire Regiment

Born: 11 April 1906, Falmouth, Cornwall
Died: 19 April 1986, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Citation: The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: —
Lieutenant-Colonel James Power CARNE, D.S.O. (33647), The Gloucestershire Regiment, in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Korea.
On the night 22nd-23rd April, 1951, Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S battalion, 1 Glosters, was heavily attacked and the enemy on the Imjin River were repulsed, having suffered heavy casualties. On 23rd, 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was heavily and incessantly engaged by vastly superior numbers of enemy who repeatedly launched mass attacks, but were stopped at close quarters.
During the 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was completely cut off from the rest of the Brigade, but remained a fighting entity, in face of almost continual onslaughts from an enemy who were determined at all costs and regardless of casualties, to over-run it. Throughout, Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S manner remained coolness itself, and on the wireless, the only communication he still had with Brigade, he repeatedly assured the Brigade Commander that all was well with his Battalion, that they could hold on and that everyone was in good heart.
Throughout the entire engagement Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE, showing a complete disregard for his own safety, moved among the whole Battalion under very heavy mortar and machine gun fire, inspiring the utmost confidence and the will to resist, amongst his troops.
On two separate occasions, armed with a rifle and grenades he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy and saved important situations.
Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S example of courage, coolness and leadership was felt not only in his own Battalion, but throughout the whole Brigade.
He fully realised that his flanks had been turned, but he also knew that the abandonment of his position would clear the way for the enemy to make a major breakthrough and this would have endangered the Corps.
When at last it was apparent that his Battalion would not be relieved and on orders from higher authority, he organised his Battalion into small, officer-led parties, who then broke out, whilst he himself in charge of a small party fought his way out but was captured within 24 hours.
Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of our Army.
He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the normal limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water.

[London Gazette issue 39994 dated 27 Oct 1953, published 23 Oct 1953.]

No comments: